South Asia has experienced extraordinary economic growth, yet it has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world

Half of South Asia's population is undernourished, and the region has the largest number of both stunted and wasted children worldwide. This so-called 'South Asian enigma' presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the international development community.

Our research aims to throw light on how agriculture and agri-food systems can contribute to improved nutrition in the region. The countries covered by our research are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Three in five pre-school children are stunted. While the rural population depends on agriculture, productivity and investment is low.

Around two in five pre-school children are chronically malnourished. The potential of agriculture to reduce undernutrition is not being realised.

India has one-third of the world’s undernourished children. LANSA explores whether good agricultural policies can reduce undernutrion.

Over 40% of children under five are stunted. To date nutrition and food security have not been explicit goals of the agriculture sector, but this is now changing.

South Asia Focus

Funded by UK DFID

This research has been funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies



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